Wednesday, the city sent out letters to residents in the neighborhood surrounding the intersection of Wescott and Elrene Roads regarding recent coyote activity. According to the city's online coyote tracker, a small dog was killed by a coyote in a heavily wooded area near Great Oaks Trail.
In all, there have been five incidents involving the wild animals since August. It is believed that at least three family dogs have been killed by coyotes since the warm months began. The first attack was reported in early July.
Here are a few tips from the city on keeping pets safe:
- Coyotes often look larger than they are. A typical urban or suburban coyote weighs 25-30 pounds. Most of them live in family groups in specific territories that they stake and defend, or as solitary animals roving over a larger area.
- Coyotes are most active at dawn or dusk, though they become nocturnal when living near people. They eat a wide range of materials, including small rodents and mammals, geese, and fallen fruit. They have also been known to scavenge from pet food left outside or unsecured garbage. To make your lawn less appealing to a hungry coyote, lock up your trash, don't feed pets outdoors, and dispose of dead wild life promptly. Residents are also advised to take down bird feeders (coyotes like both the birds and the seeds) and get rid of any standing water on your property.
- Coyotes will prey on small dogs and cats, and may attack larger dogs if they feel the dog presents a threat. Supervise your dog at all times when outside, especially near wooded areas or parks, and keep the animal on a leash while on walks. Keep your dog in front of you. If your dog stops suddenly, take heed. A coyote may be nearby. If you encounter a coyote, do not allow the coyote to get between you and your pet. It may even be advisable to pick up your pet if it is a small dog or cat.
- Coyotes are quick learners, who easily adapt to humans and urban environments. If you encounter a coyote, it is best to "haze" the animal: Make eye contact with the animal and move toward it, aggressively, waving your arms and yelling. Coyotes that have been hazed a few times will learn to avoid humans, sensing a threat. There is one caveat to the hazing rule: Do not approach the animal if you have reason to believe that the animal is sick or injured.
- Residents who have a chronic problems with coyotes, or those who find a sick or injured animal, should call Eagan Animal Control at 651-675-5750.